I met Rachael K. Jones a few months ago through the writing class I did with Cat Rambo. Remember Rachael’s name. She’s a fast rising star in the speculative fiction world and she’s going to become someone notable and noteworthy. I’d stake a great deal on that claim.
Her story, “Makeisha in Time,” was just published by Crossed Genres. Rachael said she was inspired (and inspired is probably not a strong enough word. I’d say she was galvanized) by an essay written by Kameron Hurley called, “We Have Always Fought: Challenging the ‘Women, Cattle, and Slaves’ Narrative”. It’s a pretty amazing essay. You should go read it.
I don’t want to spend a lot of time discussing the role of women in history, or how our portrayal in history has been…misleading, to say the least. I don’t have to have this discussion. Kameron Hurley already did it, quite literally, and much more eloquently than I. I don’t have to have this discussion because Rachael K. Jones has done it, quite metaphorically, and its one of the loveliest things I’ve read this year.
Her story is an amazing explanation about why women are so often absent from history, and what one woman does to try to change it.
Here’s a quote from the story and I hope Rachael and Crossed Genres don’t mind if I post it here:
“You’re building a fake identity,” Philippa tells her one day, daring the towers of books and dried-out markers to bring Makeisha some soup. “There weren’t any black women in ancient Athens. There weren’t any in China. You need to come to grips with reality, my friend.”
“There were too,” says Makeisha fiercely, proudly. “I know there were. They were just erased. Forgotten.”
“I’m sure there were a few exceptions. But women just didn’t do the kind of things you’re interested in.”
Makeisha says, “It doesn’t matter what I do, if people refuse to believe it.”